Sadayo’s poem, A Visitor spoke about a nameless tramp that she calls ‘Billy’ – an old man whose beard was:
‘thick with dust
white with yellow tinges of ivory.’
The narrator speaks of a wordless compassion she holds in her heart for the old man. She scrutinizes and watches him sunbathing in the graveyard:
‘withdrawing into himself…
[enjoying] a long deep smoke.’
The orator of the poem is moved by the man’s deep silence and peaceful demeanor. She laments at the thought of his death, saying she will ‘sing for him’ and:
‘call the rain to cry for him.’
In a moving passage, she explains that the man’s presence glows:
‘like a pearl on an ocean bed.’
‘prison is my monastery – my religion, my mother, my father.’
Really, the final stanza sums up the man and this fallen prophet. This man's legacy led to insanity, murder, tragedy and such deep sadness for all those who were involved with him - a very interesting, but nevertheless damaged man.
There are paintings on the wall
Of girls weeping rainbows,
Hair knotted in turbans
The second stanza explores the nature of memory and the captivating power of the mind to ‘twist everything together by chance.’ In a lovely passage she says:
Your childhood blanket, the sheet
from your father’s deathbed…
a fabric turned
by hands as soft as sky. Fat fingers
braid and twine
the sequins, silks and sackcloth
that release and bind.
'… like mist on the side of a river valley
[or] a fisherman’s barb at the lip of an eel.'
This poem has an unusual, disconcerting take on dreams. I liked the way the text took something ordinary and made it slightly disturbing and uncanny.